Are you having trouble passing by the candy bowl at work without grabbing a few treats? Did your aunt bake you an entire pie that’s unlikely to make it through the night? The holidays may be a tasty time of year, but all the sugar we’re faced with can mean bad news for our teeth. How can you survive the season without putting your pearly whites at risk of damage and decay? Read on to learn about five oral health tips that can help you protect your teeth from holiday foods and keep your smile as lovely (and healthy) as ever.
Tip #1: Brush
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth twice per day for two minutes. This combination of products will help keep you from scratching your tooth enamel and strengthen your teeth against cavities.
Tip #2: Floss
Thoroughly floss your teeth at least once per day. This will allow you to remove plaque and food particles that have gotten stuck between your teeth. You may also want to consider carrying around a dental travel kit that contains a toothbrush, dental floss, and toothpaste so you clean your pearly whites no matter where you go.
Tip #3: Drink Water
When there isn’t enough saliva being produced, this can lead to dry mouth. Left untreated, dry mouth can cause oral health issues like mouth sores, cavities, and gum disease. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your mouth well moisturized. You can also suck on sugar-free candy to encourage saliva production.
Tip #4: Skip Sweet, High-Carb, and Sticky Foods
Sweet and sticky holiday treats like caramel apples and taffy are difficult to remove from your teeth. This means oral bacteria have plenty of time to dine on them and release harmful acids that attack your tooth enamel and raise your risk of decay. Starchy and carb-heavy foods like stuffing and rolls are broken down into sugar during digestion, so they can also damage your teeth. Cut back on these foods and eat dark chocolate or sugar-free candy to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Tip #5: Eat Protein
Protein contains phosphorous, a mineral that helps protect your tooth enamel, strengthens the jawbone, and improves your overall bone density. By eating protein-packed meats and vegetables like turkey, chicken, fish, asparagus, peas, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli instead of sweet and starchy foods, you’ll protect your pearly whites while enjoying a tasty meal.
You don’t have to completely cut out bad-for-you holiday foods, but make sure to eat them in moderation and drink plenty of water to clear your mouth of leftover food and damaging bacteria. By doing this and making sure to keep up with your oral hygiene routine, the holidays will be a piece of cake!
About the Practice
Dr. Nancy J. Myerson, and their team at Leading Edge Dentistry are here to provide patients with the care they need to keep their mouths healthy all year long. If you’re worried about keeping your teeth in good condition this holiday season, they can provide tips and administer preventive treatments to strengthen your pearly whites against decay. Do you want more information on how to protect your teeth from holiday foods? Call Leading Edge Dentistry at (770) 425-2001 or visit their website to make an appointment.